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ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE (AMT) - Paradox of Paradox / Interception I

Format: do-CDR
Label & Cat.Number: Attenuation Circuit ACR 1019
Release Year: 2012
Note: re-issue of two deleted albums from 2004, mysterious "organic" soundscapes and daring collages (mainly based on processed field recordings but you often know exactly), this is real "unconscious" music deranging the rational mind; "lots of beauty, poetic beauty actually, like the somewhat cryptic notes on the cover. Long in duration, massive in beauty" [FdW]
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €12.50

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"Over the course of more than two decades, Slavek Kwi aka Artificial Memory Trace has developed a body of work that encompasses live performance, sound installations, music and sound workshops with autistic children, and of course a large number of recordings published by small labels around the globe. This double CD in Attenuation Circuit’s Reissues series makes available again two albums originally published in 2004 that are characteristic for Artificial Memory Trace’s style of electroacoustic music that is characterised by a very elegant use of field recordings.

As the project name says, Artificial Memory Trace is always conscious of the fact that field recordings from nature are never natural in themselves, but become artificial in the very process of recording. Thus, even the toads that can be heard on “Paradox of Paradox” are not simply left to speak for themselves or “nature” per se, as in many pieces of “acoustic ecology” recordings. Instead, the recordings are subtly arranged to make an abstract compositional statement. Other sound sources include Christmas carols, a dysfunctional piano, and, on “Interception”, a dialogue of whistles between Kwi and an autistic child. One theme of both albums then seems to be an investigation into the ways that communities of different species, from amphibians to humans, make sense of their condition through sound. Philosophical considerations apart, the musical attractiveness of these works is based on the treatment of the field recordings which always retain just enough crispness to be recognisable as ambient noises, keeping the listener’s ears pricked up trying to find out their possible origins, while at the same time constantly being on the verge of vanishing into singing oceans of frequencies at times reminiscent of the later phases of Alvin Lucier’s “I am sitting in a room”." [label info]


"Planktone Unlimited Editions was the label by Slawek Kwi, better known as Artificial Memory Trace. I must admit I didn't know this, so I have no idea why he is no longer working as such. Two of the works released on that label find now their way on a double CDR by Germany's Attenuation Circuit. Like much of his work, if not all, here too we have field recordings at the very foundation of the compositions. Compositions, because its Kwi's idea to use field recordings, alter them a little bit, and put them together, and not present them as pure phenomena of sound. Its music that one doesn't take too easily. There are lots of moments when sound drops to a low volume and for some time stays there, with just the sound of chirping insects. But then it cuts with a loud sound/event into something new and then a whole new world opens up. Its not easy to say what kind of techniques are used, but my best guess would be that its simply the result of layering various sound events together and then find the right compositional balance with these sounds, through editing, cutting and fading. Throughout, the music of Artificial Memory Trace isn't very loud so one has to keep full attention to this. Which makes these two discs, one that lasts seventy-six minutes and one that lasts fifty-eight, not something one would digest in one go easily, unless you either fully concentrate or 'use' it as ambient music: let it come as it comes. Either way of perceiving this music I think is pretty valid. It contains lots of beauty, poetic beauty actually, like the some what cryptic notes on the cover. Long in duration, massive in beauty." [FdW/Vital Weekly]